I’ve never liked Christmas Cake and I avoided Christmas Pudding like the plague. My mum used to make me a sherry-free Trifle for dessert on Christmas Day when I lived at home, a tradition I carried on over the years. Last year, however, I broke the ‘rule’ and bought cakes from a local baker to accommodate Mr. Canny’s veganism. This year I decided I was going to be a bit more adventurous in the kitchen and prepare something myself. I found a raw vegan Banoffee Pie recipe on the Sainsbury’s Magazine website which I tinkered with so I didn’t have to buy anything we don’t normally have in the house, like agave syrup and desiccated coconut, for fear of waste. That said, the dates were very much a special purchase, but I will make sure they form part of our diet in future. Naturally super sweet and full of natural dietary fibre, I can’t believe the only time I used to unwillingly eat them was in Sticky Toffee Pudding! Leaving out the sugar-packed condensed milk means this dessert is a lot friendlier on the waistband too.
The recipe is reasonably easy to follow, although time is needed for freezing the coconut milk and chilling the base. I’ll not poo-poo the idea of eating raw vegan again 🙂
Raw Vegan Banoffee Pie
1 x 400ml tin of Coconut Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Bean paste
For the Caramel:
400g pitted dates
80g cashew nuts
500ml almond milk, plus an extra 1-2 tbsp
seeds of 1 vanilla pod (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste)
2 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil
For the Crust:
1/2 cup dates
1 1/2 cups nuts (I used walnuts and almonds I pre soaked)
- Shake the tin of Coconut Milk until it is all combined and freeze for 4 hours.
- Surround the inside of a cake pan with greaseproof paper. I actually used a tinfoil dish which made it much easier, but I’ll admit isn’t great for the environment. Pulse the dates and nuts together in a food processor until you get a sticky mixture for the crust that you can pat down into the bottom of the tin. Set in fridge for a couple of hours.
- Place the dates and cashew nuts in a bowl, cover with water and leave to soak for 1 hour. Drain off the water, then put the dates and cashews in a food processor along with all the remaining caramel ingredients (leaving aside the extra 2 tbsp of almond milk), and process until smooth. Spread the caramel onto the chilled crust, reserving some to drizzle onto the top at the end. Chill for 1-2 hours. Put a large clean bowl in the fridge to chill as well.
- Peel and cut the bananas into 5mm slices and arrange on top of the chilled caramel. Empty the semi-frozen coconut milk into the chilled bowl, add the vanilla seeds and, using an electric hand whisk if you have one, beat until softly peaking.
- Gently spoon the coconut cream on top of the bananas. Blend the extra almond milk with the reserved caramel until runny and drizzle over the top of the pie. Chill until ready to serve.
I’m sure you could make the finished article look a bit prettier by decorating with chopped walnuts or ensuring that the caramel was drizzled over in a fancier fashion but, truth be told, when you have a 10 month old baby you don’t always have the time to faff round in this fashion! Plus, it eats all the same. I leave the snazzy plating to the professionals 🙂
Thanks for reading,